Hong Kong’s Dubai World Cup night finished meekly and in line with the way the whole evening had gone when Gun Pit was another who failed to cope with the heavy kickback on the Meydan dirt and finished last in the world’s richest race.
Organisers probably got the result they wanted when American cult hero California Chrome took out the US$ 10 million event, but, at the other end of the field, Caspar Fownes was left shaking his head after Gun Pit finished at the rear, eased down late in the piece by Joao Moreira.
“We wanted to be outside the leader, so that he’d be out of the kickback, but it didn’t work out that way,” said Fownes as he watched sand running out of Gun Pit’s nostrils while he was hosed down post-race.
“There’s so much sand coming back at them, and they just can’t breathe. Joao said that it was OK when he was able to sit the horse up close to the one in front, but as soon as some sort of gap opened up between them, the kickback was terrible.”
Fownes was left frustrated by the Dubai trip believing neither of his runners was able to show his best form and leaving him up in the air with future plans for Gun Pit.
“We know there are no dirt races for him there, but you go somewhere else with him and this happens,” he said.
“The only encouragement was his last run on turf at home, which was very good. Maybe he can try the big turf races and maybe pick up some third or fourth prize money, but we know it isn’t his best surface.”